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Discussion Starter #1
All,

New to the forums and hoping to get a few answers from owners on this. I am looking at possibly either the EX or EX Premium trims on the 2018 PHEV for the Niro. Comparing the Niro against either a Clarity PHEV or Outback.

1) I am having a tough time getting a sense of how much gas gets consumed during the winter going from charging station to charging station. From here, it looks like the engine may not need to run unless the heat is set to MAX. I would really hate to have a PHEV where it becomes superfluous (live in the Midwest) for 1/3 to 1/2 of the year.

Previously had an Audi A3 eTron (alas, RIP) so I am used to the EV portion being unavailable in extremely cold weather.

2) Remote conditioning seems to be out (the eTron had the option to pre-warm / heat the car while plugged in to 240V) but there does seem to be an option for turning on the AC via Alexa. Anyone tied in things to the UVO / Alexa links and have any experience with that?

Thanks!
 

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I can't speak for the Clarity (it may have resistance heating), but the Ioniq has to run the engine for any level of cabin heating in the winter. It doesn't stay on and a PHEV is not irrelevant in any season. Obviously, the Outlook will be running the engine unless there is a PHEV model I haven't heard about.

Guessing the reason you are posting this question is that your commute is very short? Even if the engine is running to warm it up or provide heat, the car can still be in EV mode and my hybrid does this. Thus you are getting motive power from charging the battery in a PHEV even on a heat call.
 

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Thanks, appreciate the response.

Yes, my commute is relatively short (8 miles) and unfortunately, I end up having to park my vehicle outside of the garage from about January through March. The car would already be plugged in overnight (already have a 240V charger courtesy of the eTron and thread the charge cable under the garage door) so any engine running would solely be for heat, no real charging benefit.

Mainly I am thinking about the drive into work and the extent to which it ends up running the engine. While it would not come anywhere near the Outback consumption, it is a definite tradeoff relative to the Clarity. Plus, I really can't test it until I get deep into the thick of winter after already having owned the car for six months.
 

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Perhaps a BEV would be more economical for you. Makes a lot more sense unless you have frequent trips exceeding its range. Long trips could be done by renting a car.
 

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I beg to differ. Buying an even more expensive car (a BEV) for such a short commute would certainly not be more economical.


I remember reading some forum from a Scandinavian owner of an Ioniq PHEV (same drivetrain, same way cabin heating works) that in the really cold winter it consumes about 1,5 l/100 km for heating, so I think it won't affect the economics that much, but it may or may not annoy you.
 

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I beg to differ. Buying an even more expensive car (a BEV) for such a short commute would certainly not be more economical.
A low mileage i3 is around $17,000. That is $7,000 of savings day one. But a new Leaf or Smart has a similar cost after rebates and electric running and maintenance costs are less than ICE cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I beg to differ. Buying an even more expensive car (a BEV) for such a short commute would certainly not be more economical.

I remember reading some forum from a Scandinavian owner of an Ioniq PHEV (same drivetrain, same way cabin heating works) that in the really cold winter it consumes about 1,5 l/100 km for heating, so I think it won't affect the economics that much, but it may or may not annoy you.
Perfect, that is exactly what I was looking for in terms of the consumption (or at least a rough quantified ballpark). Just annoying.

BEV would be great but every once in a while, we need to go extended distances with both vehicles or we get stuck shuttling most of the day without access to charging. We definitely need the ability to haul 5 in this car which rules out the i3. It was a very nice feature that for longer distance trips that we could ditch the van and use the much more fuel efficient car (the eTron). The Niro or Clarity both would be even better for those trips.
 

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For such a short trip, heated seats and wheel may be enough for you. It would for me. Those are standard even on the base models in Canada, not sure how high a trim level in the US PHEV you might have to go, but if heated seats will avoid ICE use for you, perhaps the added cost is worth it. There are aftermarket heated seats solutions too.
 

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Clarity has about half the total range of the Niro for what that is worth. I recently did 701 miles on a single tank in my hybrid. The PHEV is not as efficient but still should be able to do over 600 miles on one tank on a trip, assuming good weather and moderate driving. Just over 300 miles on a Clarity I hear. Much higher cost as well, although perhaps more included and a more luxurious interior.
 

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Thanks, appreciate the response.

Yes, my commute is relatively short (8 miles) and unfortunately, I end up having to park my vehicle outside of the garage from about January through March. The car would already be plugged in overnight (already have a 240V charger courtesy of the eTron and thread the charge cable under the garage door) so any engine running would solely be for heat, no real charging benefit.

Mainly I am thinking about the drive into work and the extent to which it ends up running the engine. While it would not come anywhere near the Outback consumption, it is a definite tradeoff relative to the Clarity. Plus, I really can't test it until I get deep into the thick of winter after already having owned the car for six months.
Kia as a really interesting approach to how the gas and electric motors interplay. I believe using the UVO app you can indeed remote start the PHEV version (but not the regular HEV). Google Kia Niro PHEV UVO and read the features. Now that doesn't do what you'd like to do but hey it's a start. I also believe you can choose to heat the seats remotely without starting the vehicle....I could be wrong as I haven't taken delivery of mine yet. But back to the heater operation. As others have pointed out it would not be economical or even good for the environment to go full BEV in your situation. Just a bunch of batteries doing nothing. The upside is way smaller than the downside.

But I digress. I have sort of the same problem as you...cold midwestern winter. Here's what I plan to do on my commute. Start driving it in HEV mode with heated seats on high as well as cabin heat cranked. About 5 minutes into that the engine should be warm and the cabin well on its way to being heated. Then switch over to BEV for the rest of the trip. The engine should switch off and stay off because the water is hot. If near the end of your trip it wants to switch the engine back on (for heat) just shut the heater off. The engine won't force its way on with the heat off. Your car will stay warm for several minutes (plus hey those heated seats). Additionally the Niro has a 'driver side only' setting that only blows heat out the driver side. This saves energy on longer trips.

Other tip? Just buy a really nice soft pair of leather driving gloves and act all European. You might be surprised how much difference that makes in desired temperature. My old A3 made me feel like a formula 1 driver properly attired.

But yes it's completely pointless to get a BEV in your situation. Note however that the 2019 (not 18) Chevy Volt DOES have this ability. Chevy dropped the temp level substantially (-15F) to where the engine forces on and thusly beefed up the electric heating. So the new Chevy will in fact do what you want it to do. For me the Chevy loses some practicality....I like a hatchback. And also it's a big tradeoff because on long trips the Niro will kick its butt on efficiency due to the large difference in hybrid efficiency when the engine is on. But if that 8 miles bugs you consider a Chevy. To my knowledge it is the only PHEV (some call it a Rex BEV but I think that's debateable) that will allow the type of operation you are describing....but only on 2019 forward. Seems like a bit of cost overkill to get there though.
 

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AFAIK most PHEVs have electric heaters (BMW 225xe, VW Golf and Passat GTE...), and Prius plug-in even has a heat pump. But the VWs and particularly the BMW are much less efficient once you deplete the battery. Prius plug-in is great but it's a 4-seater.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I went ahead and pulled the trigger today as I got it home, charged it up a bit on my eTron charger, and finally experienced the EV portion of it. Very nice. We did find out that it locked the charge cable in place if the car gets locked which was an interesting adventure (the eTron locked the charge door, not the charger).

Plus, the dealership came in reasonable enough price-wise with the EX Premium trim. I really did not need the Premium trim but the EX trim looked to be an extended wait and our need was a bit acute to say the least.

If I do not have the kids with me during winter, my plan is to go with the heated seats / heated steering wheel combo and to call it good. For the trip home that is an option but for the morning school drop off, I will have a mini revolution of grumpy riders in the back. I am planning on trying the UVO remote start option as well.

I did not get a clear answer on UVO cost three years out but that will be something to navigate later. Very excited to pick up the new ride later this afternoon.
 
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